The VR tool will let shoppers design a new room with the brand’s furniture and virtually stand in the newly designed space while shopping at a store location. The app will let consumers ‘place’ Ashley furniture into the context of their own home to see how well it fits their needs and wants.
The advanced tech retail experience at the biggest furniture retailer in North America is being developed through a partnership with Marxent. The VR experience will be deployed to stores in select markets starting in the first half of 2017, and the AR app will be available for Android and iOS through the Google Play and Apple app stores.
The VR and AR strategy ties directly to meeting consumer expectations and the emotional and experiential process inherent in a furniture purchase.
The brand partnered with Marxent due to what Foy called the “extraordinary composition, visualization and locational flexibility” of Marxent’s VisualCommerce powered AR and VR apps.
Ashley is deploying Marxent’s VisualCommerce platform for virtual products. The platform, Foy said, is the right fit for the brand’s dynamic retail business and extensive product catalog.
The roll out strategy is ultimately a companywide experience with a measured deployment approach.
Both the VR and AR strategies are tethered to customer expectations in the retail environment, explained Foy, as shoppers want a convenient and personal experience that is as good, or better, than what they enjoy on their smartphone.
The new technology is also letting Ashley boost the ‘fun’ factor in furniture shopping and empower customers by combining the tangible attributes such as textures, colors and personal assistance with digital design and visualization tools.
Source: retail customer experience